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Mellis, Ruth (1907-2007) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Mellis, Ruth (1907-2007)


Historical Note: Ruth Margaret Mellis was born April 19, 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri to Charles J. and Selina M. (Vollmer) Mellis.  She attended Ritenour High School (Overland, MO) and graduated in 1931 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She was a member of the Philalethean Literary Society, and volunteered with the Y.M.C.A. In 1945 she left the city school system and volunteered to teach missionaries' children in Africa as a non-professional at the Empress School in Ethiopia. During this 3 year short-term she assisted in the formation of the Wheaton Alumni Association of Ethiopia where many grads worked in that country. In August 1954 she sailed to Greece to be a teacher where she served alongside Worldwide Prayer and Missionary Union as an independent missionary ministering to grown ex-orphans around Athens. In a 1967 prayer letter she began to direct funds to ELWA Greek programs with Sudan Interior Mission. The ELWA Ministries Association traces its roots back to 1952 when SIM (then known as the Sudan Interior Mission) joined with the West Africa Broadcasting Association that was attempting to start the first Christian radio station in Africa. Radio ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa), located in the Paynesville area east of central Monrovia, started to broadcast in January 1954. By 1973 she had moved to Puebla, Mexico with the Central Ameican Mission as a church planter among internationals. In 1977 she "retired" after 33 years of foreign service to St. Louis. For many years afterward she made many short-term trips to Mexico and Greece. She died on January 15, 2007 in Saint Ann, MO, three months prior to her 100th birthday.
Sources: Student File (Mellis, Miss Ruth Margaret)






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